HIV+ Women Maltreated At Govt. Hospitals!

A_RamadossHIV positive rural women seeking treatment at local government hospitals suffer verbal abuse and forced abortions, claim a group of afflicted women.

The women from southern states like Andhra Pradesh and Kerala reported that doctors and paramedical staff verbally abuse the HIV+ women when they seek treatment at local government hospitals.

An HIV positive woman from Andhra Pradesh said, “In the entire district of Nalgonda, there is just one Anti-Retroviral Test Centre (ART) and there is a huge crowd of rural people trying to get their medicines. At some of these centers, women are being made to undergo forced abortions even in advanced stages of pregnancy when the national guidelines issued by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) clearly state that bearing a child should be entirely the mother’s choice.”

These women told that it would be much better if government provide medical facilities to HIV+ people through ART centers. Better training facilities should be provided to nurses and para-medical staff.

National Commission for Women (NCW) member Malini Bhattacharya, said, “The government needs to look into these complaints seriously to provide succor to these women.”

According to recent estimates by UNAIDS, Nearly 18 million women are HIV+ and India forms 38 percent of it. In India there are about 60,000 new infections every year.

In another issue, Britain doctors slammed homeopathy treatment for AIDS.

A seminar on homeopathy’s role in treatment of HIV/AIDS, organized by European Society of Homeopaths in UK on December 1, triggered the latest protests.   

“People say homeopathy can't do any harm but when it is being promoted for HIV, then there is a serious problem,” said Michael Baum, professor emeritus of surgery at the University College London.

Baum and others criticized homeopathy treatment through the National Health Service, and some trusts also stopped NHS funding to centers using homeopathy.

Dr S P Singh, India's advisor on homeopathy, said, “We are preparing a strong reply. Just because homeopathy is a cheaper alternative to several surgical procedures, surgeons and pharma companies in UK are worried it might cut into their bread and butter.”

Dr N K Ganguly, DG (ICMR), said, “The homeopathy compound screened in vitro at NARI (National AIDS Research Institute, Pune) against HIV has been found to effectively kill the virus.”

Union health minister A Ramadoss said, “Homeopathy has very good treatment effect for certain diseases which are not amenable to treatment by conventional medicine. It is effective, safe, affordable and simple to administer.”

Currently, more than 100 million Indians depend only on homeopathy. UK’s homeopathy market 2007 estimated to be worth 38 million pounds.